Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell got evicted from the House Intelligence Committee by the GOP. Their fellow Democrat, Mike Quigley, lost his perch there thanks to his own party.
The Illinoisan, who’s served on the panel’s Democratic roster since 2015, said he found out Wednesday that he did not make the cut. While he indicated in an interview that he’s “honored to have served on the committee,” Quigley admitted he was “disappointed to be hit by friendly fire.”
Quigley’s loss of his intelligence panel seat comes as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries named Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes as its new top Democrat to replace Schiff (D-Calif.) whose appointment had been blocked by Speaker Kevin McCarthy along with Swalwell’s (D-Calif.).
A Jeffries spokesperson noted that Quigley had already served for four full terms on the Intelligence Committee, but otherwise declined to comment.
The Intelligence Committee limits members to four terms on the panel, though members can receive waivers. Chairs and ranking members are exempt from the term limit.
Quigley’s exit also follows that of several other senior Intelligence Committee Democrats due to retirement or election to higher office, such as Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). That turnover is leading some Democrats to worry about a loss of expertise — among them former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), spotted speaking to Jeffries on the House floor Wednesday evening about the need to maintain institutional knowledge on the panel through its longer-serving members like Quigley.
Asked Wednesday about Quigley, Pelosi said she “thought there was still an opportunity” for him to serve on the panel.
Another wrinkle to Quigley’s intelligence panel departure stems from Jeffries’ ascension atop the caucus. Quigley had privately backed Schiff when he was sounding out a potential leadership bid that would have pitted him against Jeffries, prompting some Democrats to theorize that the Illinoisan’s removal from the committee was linked to leadership maneuvering. Schiff ultimately decided against running for leadership in favor of pursuing a Senate bid, and Jeffries ran unopposed for minority leader.
As the minority party, Democrats’ allotted number of seats on the committee shrank, forcing tough choices about appointments to the sought-after panel. To replace departing members, a half-dozen Democrats were added to the Intelligence Committee, including Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), and Abigail Spanberger (Va.).